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Welcome to CYB| Chea-Yee's Blog.

This blog captures the musings and anecdotes of the daily life of a Malaysian who is now living in Melbourne, Australia.

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The Passport Photo Scam at Immigration.

Ok. It's already Chinese New Year here, so people, Gong Xi Fa Chai! Yeah, I do have some interesting stories to tell.

On Friday, I went to renew my passport at the immigration near Help Institute. The first thing when you walk into the area are the many numbers of photocopy and instant passport photoshops around. I was there before 8am, and got my number (about the 32nd person!!). I showed my passport sized photos to the staff manning the counter when he gave me my number.

Actually, I had two sizes of photos, one is for (previously IC size), and the other which is passport size. So I asked him if it was okay (I wanted to check the colour of the photo background), and instead of helping me, he said that I may have to go to the stall outside to get the photos re-done.

He spoke in Malay.

Me: Is this the right one for the form? Ok, there are two sizes here.
Man: No... I think you have to get it re-done.
Me: Why should I? This IS passport size. The place I got it done says that it was passport size. I shouldn't have to re-do it.
Man: Well, I am not sure. You COULD try.

To which, after that I was pretty annoyed. I went around looking for the washroom as I needed to use it, and walked outside past a instant photo stall, and asked for directions for the washroom.
So he led me out of the place and showed me where it was. A woman who saw him leading me to the washroom, then proceeded to ask me:

Woman: Did that man asked you to do your photos?
Me: No. He didn't say anything about photos. I asked him for directions to the toilet.
Woman: Oh.
(To which, the woman just went straight into the washroom).

Ok. I paid to enter the washroom. From previous experience, if you are a staff of any place, you will get to use the toilet facilities for free. Actually, I didn't even have to pay to enter the toilet if only I had pretended to be the staff here.

But being the loyal outstanding honest citizen I was, I did.

When the woman asked me that question, I could then read between the lines of what she was trying to say. So later, when I went up to the stalls, and made a copy of IC at one of the stalls. I started to complain.

Me: Apa ini la. I bring my photo here, the man up there complain-complain this lar. That lar.
Photocopy man: Oh....aiya, you know, business mah. You have to be Confident, you know?
Me: Ok. (Point Taken).

After which, I just went up to the hall and found a place to sit and waited. When my number was called, I went to the counter, gave my photo and started a nice conversation.

Me: Why ah, these people ah, I got photo also complain wan ah? Size not right lar. THis lar. That lar.
Woman at counter: Who said it?
Me: No idea lar. But one of the people lar. Can't remember....

I didn't want to tell her anything, since she was one of the staff there. If I had asked if the photo was correctly sized, or if there was something wrong with the picture, I am SO SURE she would have asked me to go to the shop to get my picture re-done AS WELL.

Who would know that beneath the exterior of these so-called people who manned the counters, there lies the....many who want to make a quick buck out of the situation. I am sure that many people had been conned this way to get their pictures re-done and pay an extra RM7 to RM12 for each set of new photos they make. My mom was probably one of those were done in.

Of course, if you read between the lines, without saying, there would probably be some understanding between the people who minded these counters and the instant photo stalls. For the sake of money, they have allowed their greed for money to do what is unethically wrong.

God has seriously been gracious to me. He has opened my eyes to learn to read between the lines of what people do but not say. I hope you would too. Indeed. Image is So Superficial. But unfortunately even Jesus in the Bible itself says, to deal with these kind of people, we have to be "as wise as serpents and innocent as doves" (Matthew10:16).

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